I was fixin’ to get really mad about this when I saw the headline, but I just can’t get there. Believe me I wanted to, but then I did a little math.
Kids born in the late 90s or at the turn of the century are old enough to have kids of their own now, and they don’t remember a time before everything had a screen built into it and was connected to all the world’s information and entertainment plus every person they know 24/7. Perhaps there’s some blame to be dished out to the parents of my generation for not seeing the signs of trouble and putting the hammer down on it before we got to this point, but it’s too late for that now. So as much as it pains me to say this, maybe spending hundreds of dollars to hire a coach to teach you and your children how to function with less screens in your lives is just something we need to do now.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, some parents in the U.S. are hiring screen-free parenting coaches to help them raise phone-free children.
The trend, which is picking up in several U.S. states, allows these screen-free coaches to go into homes, schools and religious institutions to lecture parents on how parenting worked before screens.
“I try to really meet the parents where they are, and now often it is very simple: ‘Do you have a plain old piece of material that can be used as a cape?’” one coach told the site. “‘Is there a ball somewhere? Throw the ball… kick the ball.’”
Another parenting coach, Gloria DeGaetano, based in Seattle, told the site coaches in small cities can make up to US$80 an hour in small cities or rural areas and up to $250 in larger cities.
For the most part, coaches added, parents had forgotten what life was like before screens because they’re glued to their own devices.